Vaporization is one of the healthiest ways to consume weed. Vaporizers heat the cannabis just enough to release coveted cannabis resin in the form of a steam, saving you from inhaling a lung full of hot, irritating ash. Unfortunately, there is an almost overwhelming number of vaporization technologies entering the marketplace. How do you tell the standouts from the knockoffs? To help you out, here’s the ultimate buyers guide for vaporizers.
Convection vs. conduction vaporisers
The heating mechanism in your vaporizer can greatly affect the overall vaping experience. Certain types of heating mechanisms are healthier than others.
For example, with convection heating, the element never touches the plant matter. Rather, hot hair melts the waxy resin off of the cannabis plant and creates a steam, making a true vapor.
Conduction heating is a cheaper and more common vaporization method. Unfortunately, the heating element directly touches the plants in conductive vapes.
This means that the vaporizer is more likely to actually combust the plant material in a similar way to smoking. Conductive vaporizers are also less likely to heat evenly.
If you’re investing in a vaporizer to stay away from smoking, a convection vape would be the healthiest option. However, those looking for an inexpensive and convenient way to consume may still appreciate a conductive vape.
Though conductive vapes can cause combustion, they still heat the cannabis product at a low temperature. Heating slowly at a low temperature creates a steam vapor.
Temperature control on vaporiser
To get the most benefit from your cannabis, the temperature is extremely important. High temperatures can combust, or burn, the cannabis material. Different cannabis compounds also have different boiling points, meaning that it takes a specific amount of heat to get them to transform from a solid into a gas.
The boiling point for THC is 314.6°F or 157°C. However, the boiling point rises slightly when the cannabis content is in a closed container under pressure. Most vaporizers heat in the temperature range 356-392°F or 180-200°C.
Most vaporizers heat in the temperature range 356-392°F or 180-200°C. Not all vapes, however, allow you to adjust the temperature. Different cannabis products vaporize best at different temperatures. Oils and waxes, for example, will need a higher temperature than dried flower.
Materials wich vaporisers are made of
For the safest vaporization experience, it is important to pay attention to the materials from which the device is made. Certain compounds, like plastics, create gasses when exposed to heat or extreme temperature changes.
Vaporizers that contain plastics near a heating element should be avoided, as they can release chemicals like BPA into your vapor BPA is a compound that acts similarly to estrogen in the body.
Certain metals, too, can be problematic. Some metals have better heat resistance than others. Metals can oxidize at high temperatures, which releases potential carcinogens into your vapor product.
To avoid this, opt for vaporizers materials that have been:
- Lab tested
- Grade 1 or 2 titanium
- Medical grade stainless steel
If your vaporizer contains these four materials, you may want to consider a different piece:
- Titanium alloy
- Other metal alloys
A tip about portable vapor pens
Portable vapor pens are some of the most common vaporizers around. When purchasing a battery for a vapor pen, the most common type is a 510 threaded option. When purchasing a 510 threaded battery, it’s best to pay a few extra dollars for one with a button.
Batteries with a button are a little more durable and often have better temperature control options than those without. 510 threaded batteries can be purchased at most dispensaries or online for $25 or less. Then, simply purchase a pre-filled cartridge from a dispensary.
Portable vs. tabletop vaporiser
The next big vaporizer decision to make is whether or not to choose between a portable or a tabletop option. As the phrases suggest, a tabletop vape is difficult to transport and is meant to be more of a stay-at-home investment piece.
Portable vaporizers are far less expensive and easy to take on the go, but they are more limited in what they can do. Portable vaporizers are more likely to use conduction heating.
Tabletop vaporizers are more likely to be convection vaporizers since convection technology can be more cumbersome than conduction methods. Many also have improved temperature settings, neat accessories, and are more versatile all around.
Unfortunately, tabletop vapes often come with a steep price tag.